Gallhammer @ Birmingham Barfly – March 15th 2008


Japan – the home of Hello Kitty and all things super-cute. Until now!

Say hello to three lovely ladies from Tokyo who are taking the world of metal by storm while at the same time bringing an altogether blacker view of what the land of the rising sun has to offer.

Gallhammer’s sound is so dark, so heavy and so immense you have to wonder what terrible things have happened in these young girls’ lives to allow them to play with such intense feeling and passion. Tonight, in front of an audience of new converts, the band are simply mesmerizing from the moment they set foot on stage. With almost no communication with the crowd, Gallhammer seem lost in their world of dispair – a glazed lifeless look in the eyes of joint vocalists Vivian “Depressive” Slaughter and Mika Penetrator as they churn out dark, drowning riffs from their guitars.


The songs are based around isolation, despair, oppression, a world without colour. That may not sound like much fun, but live Gallhammer are absolutely captivating to watch. The set is predictably made up of tracks from their “Ill Innocence” album and moves from ultra-slow heaviness to all-out metal assaults, all the while played with a belief rarely seen by bands of a similar genre.

As they leave the stage as nonchalantly as they entered, it’s clear that we’ve witnessed something truly unique. Watch out for the girls when they return to the UK. Let’s hope it’s soon.


Words & Photos – Steve Gerrard

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